Category Archives: Events

Chester Bowl Ski & Snowboard Lottery Tuesday 10/24/17

The 2017 Chester Bowl Ski and Snowboard Lottery is Tuesday, October 24th, at the Vineyard Church (1533 W Arrowhead Road).

Registration begins at 5:30, with the program starting at 6pm. Because of the time required to park and register, we strongly recommend arriving no later than 5:45 pm so that we can start promptly at 6.

The Ski and Snowboard Lottery is a required event for anyone looking to rent gear for the season at Chester Bowl. All season rental families must also purchase a Chester Bowl Season Pass. Our rental system is different than most ski areas; we rent out equipment for the entire season, and it is yours to keep with you all winter, even using at other ski areas.  We do NOT offer daily equipment rentals.  Rentals packages are either a ski package (skis, boots, poles, helmet) or a snowboard package (snowboard, boots, helmet).

As you arrive, you will register yourself to have your family added to our lottery.  Once the event starts, Chester Bowl staff and volunteers will give a brief overview of the programs offered at Chester Bowl, as well as upcoming events and the required volunteering commitment.  We will then draw names of the families in attendance. When your name is called, you will go to the signup area and register your family for the earliest remaining fitting time that works for you. You are then able to leave the lottery.  Families that are new to Chester Bowl and those that completed their volunteer hours last winter are in the first pool to be drawn. Those that were prior participants and did NOT complete their volunteer hours will be in the second drawing.

You will also have the opportunity to begin signing up for your volunteer hours, and also to purchase tickets to November 10th’s Skis, Suds, & Slices fundraiser.

Fitting dates will be published soon, but we will have at least nine fitting nights on weeknights starting on the 1st of November.

Only one adult from each family needs to attend the lottery.  Children are welcome, but most families choose to come without them if possible.  No payments are required or accepted at the lottery. Payment is due at the time of purchase/rental at the fitting nights.

Last year we were able to pilot a snowboard rental program with 50 snowboards thanks to a grant from Essentia Health Community Contributions. Because demand last year far exceeded our supply, we did purchase additional equipment this offseason and have nearly doubled our snowboard inventory!  The snowboard fittings will be on the first fitting night. Families can sign up for both a snowboard and skis so that they have a ski fitting night reserved if they were not able to get a snowboard.

If you are not renting gear this year, and are just purchasing a season pass, you DO NOT need to attend the lottery.  If you are hoping to rent gear, but can not get someone to the lottery, please contact us as soon as possible AFTER the lottery, and we will add you to the fittings as space is available.

In many winters we do rent out all of our equipment to those who have come to the lottery, and may not be able to accommodate everyone who contacts us after the lottery,  so we STRONGLY recommend coming to the lottery if you want to rent gear this season.

With any questions about our winter program, please contact Sam at 724-9832 or

Fun Slope Open

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Our Fun Slope is open, and our skiers and boarders are loving the new addition to the hill!  We held our grand opening on Friday, January 22nd.

Working with private contractors and city staff, the Chester Bowl Improvement Club was able to facilitate the addition of a new run- our “Fun Slope”. This newly skiable area is peppered with berms and waves of snow, creating a unique ski and snowboard experience that skiers and boarders of all ages are sure to love. We had another problem- this area was not adequately lit! Without new- and expensive- lighting, we would need to close this area off each day after darkness fell. This wasn’t a good option for us, so we sought out partners to make a lighting project happen.

I can’t overemphasize how much we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to help us accomplish projects like our FunSlope. As a very small non-profit with only 2 year-round staff, we could not make this happen otherwise.

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations who contributed to this project with a donation of time and/or materials:

For our lighting project: Scott Haedtke, Gausman and Moore, initial lighting plan; Brandon Smith, Holophane, donation of lighting materials; Jordan Oja, Corey Eye-lee, and Dale Tikka, Simco electrical work and materials; The Minnesota Power Foundation for a grant for the light pole and installation.

City Crews were also heavily involved in all aspects of this project: Joe Miller, overall planning and oversight; The entire Parks and Rec trails and trees crew, including Ben Sosnieki, Bob Bugbee, Bob Dunsmore, Billy Davis, Darrin Frankoviak (also our lead groomer who constructed the snow elements); Doug Rosas, Larry Abrahamson, Todd Halbakken.
The project also included a new lower lift building: Bryan Thoreson, Mark Kettelhut, Tony Livingston, Rick Hanson

As a volunteer driven organization, we also are indebted to our volunteer Board of Directors and Development Committee.  The idea began with recently retired Executive Director Thom Storm- Thank you for your vision, Thom

We appreciate all of the local media coverage we received.  You can see what everyone is saying about the Fun Slope at the links below. 


Chester Bowl announces new Executive Director

David Schaeffer, newly hired Executive Director of the Chester Bowl Improvement Club (left) and Thom Storm, Executive Director since 1975

David Schaeffer, newly hired Executive Director of the Chester Bowl Improvement Club (left) and Thom Storm, Executive Director since 1975

David Schaeffer, new Executive Director of Chester Bowl Improvement Club

David Schaeffer, new Executive Director of Chester Bowl Improvement Club

The Chester Bowl Improvement Club announced Sunday that David Schaeffer will become the program’s new executive director. David will be working alongside longtime executive director Thom Storm for approximately one year.
While Chester Bowl is a City of Duluth park, all of the programs at the park are operated by the non-profit, volunteer-run Chester Bowl Improvement Club. That includes the winter downhill skiing program that serves more than 1,000 youth and adult skiers and snowboarders; the summer day camp program for youth; assisting the city of Duluth with the Tuesday night summer concert series; and other activities at Duluth’s most popular park.
Schaeffer has more than 10 years’ experience leading non-profit youth programming, including the past seven years as director of Mentor Duluth, the highly praised program that pairs volunteer adults with Twin Ports’ children in need of adult friendship and leadership. He’s also served as the Harbor Highland s Community Center Director since 2012.
David previously worked as director of education and guest services at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. He has a master’s in education from UMD and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental forest biology from State University of New York
Schaefer is also a neighbor of and frequent visitors of Chester Bowl. He’s an avid skier and his daughter is a winter skier and summer camper here at Chester Bowl.
Storm, who has worked at the park since 1975, will stay on through May 1, 2015 to help with the transition to new leadership.
“David is uniquely qualified to accept the Chester Bowl torch that’s being passed down by Thom Storm,’’ said Ann Myers, president of the Chester Bowl Improvement Club. “Chester Bowl will lose a legend next year when Thom retires. But the Chester Bowl legacy of providing a safe, fun place for kids and families to be outdoors will be in good hands.”